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When Should I Update my Will?

This is a common question most people are afraid to ask because they assume if they ask the answer will be “now”.  A properly drafted last will and testament should not have to be updated very often because it should be flexible enough to address some changing circumstances such acquiring more assets or having more children.  However the document should be reviewed if there is a change in the law, there is a marriage or divorce, a death in the family or illness.

Married and Having Children

If you get married after a will has been drafted for you, you should have a new drafted to protect your spouse and your children if you have children from a prior marriage. Spouses have rights to property by law and your will should be drafted to be in compliance with the law.

If you have children after your will is drafted, it is very important to designate a guardian to care for your children in case something should happen to you and their other parent.  You may also want to consider establishing a trust on behalf of your children and designate a trustee to manage assets left to your children.

Accumulating a Business or Real Estate

If you start a business or purchase real estate, you should consider updating your will to make arrangements for the transfer or sale of your property.  You may also want to consider consolidating your assets in a trust and that may mean that your will doesn’t have to be updated, but you may need additional estate planning documents and tools.

Get Legal Help

A consultation with experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman will help you understand if now is the time to update your estate plan to fully protect your assets, your goals, and your loved ones. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.


Posted in: Estate Planning, New York Estate Planning